Despite politicians’ grand ambitions for DDaT since at least 1996, it’s had relatively little impact on radical government renewal and reform. Yet the political ambition has remained fairly constant during these 26 years: to ensure users are the focus, not providers; to design services more closely around people’s needs and lives; and to deliver more effective, and higher quality public services.
These two quick lateral thinking icebreaker games will help participants flex their creative thinking muscles before jumping into your workshops. I love that they help get people checked into the session and open up new ways of thinking, particularly good if you want creativity in your workshop.
While companies large and small have made considerable gains in building a scalable and sustainable architecture, we’re left with the uncomfortable questions: is what we’re doing truly providing value? Do we really know who our users are and understand their needs? If so, can they generate insights in a fast and reliable way? As long as users don’t complain and pipelines don’t fail, does that mean all is well? For all our investment in data, are we seeing the return?
As we enter this new phase, I am keen that we now move away from being seen as just an IT provider to the rest of the council to one where we can start to work more collaboratively in partnership with our service leads so that we prioritise, manage our demand, design and shape and build great digital services together; a place where we cultivate and nurture an environment of working in the open; grow our digital talent and become centres of excellence of good practice across our various digital and technology disciplines.
Today we’re sharing the first of our new user research templates and guides. We designed these for teams working within the council, and they can easily be adapted for teams working in other councils. You’ll find these on GitHub. Download them, make them your own, and let us know if we can make them even better.
I had enormous fun last week chatting with Ben Proctor from Data Orchard about the concept of data maturity in organisations.
Data Orchard have identified 5 stages of data maturity, each of which describe the extent to which an organisation uses data to improve the way it works. The stages are: unaware, emerging, learning, developing and mastering.
In this half hour or so, we discuss important topics such as:
why using data is a cultural, not a technology issue
what some of the technology barriers can be
what steps needs to be taken for an organisation wanting to be data mature
the state of open data in the UK
why bats are interesting in a data sense, much more so than newts
Ben mentions are few projects and things during the conversations, here they are for your convenience:
We’re working to find out what a digital planning application service would look like if it were “so good, people prefer to use it”. However, one of the early things we learnt was that high quality data is the key enabler of providing a better digital service.
There are bigger issues at work: software that does not reflect the needs of its users, a Planning Portal that does not collect as much data in a useful form as it could, and teams who might benefit from tapping into another’s information and workflows.
This tool is designed to help you make an honest assessment of how advanced your organisation is at dealing with data. You can compare your assessment with others from your own organisation, and from around the country.